Three weeks ago, now, I met up with my quilty friend and fellow pattern designer Brenda Miller in Niagara Falls. I showed you some of the pictures from our tourist activities last week.
But we both brought our sewing machines and a project or two to work on in the hotel room while we chatted about various and sundry quilty and non-quilts topics.
Brenda created a small project from Terry Atkinson’s new book, Simple, Fun and Quickly Done. You can read about Brenda’s project here.
As for myself. I travel quite a bit. And I have one project that I keep ready to grab as I pack up my stuff for any trip. It’s always some sort of hand-work project - like hand piecing or embroidery, or even some combination.
Many years ago now (at least five years ago for sure) I started working on this pattern from Mountain Patchwork with a fat quarter bundle of fabric designed by Gudrun Erla.
Long ago, I precut and marked all the pieces for each block and put them into little mini block kits. I stuffed the kits in a vinyl pouch with everything I needed to work on a block - needles, pins, embroidery and piecing thread, an extra thimble, and scissors - everything. All I had to do was grab the pouch and stuff it in my suitcase.
And I worked on the blocks one by one in the evenings while I was away over the years. This project was reserved only for road trips. I rarely worked on the blocks at home. On the quilt cruise this past February, during my 'off' hours, I finished the 20 blocks! So I took them with me to Niagara Falls along with fabric for sashing and borders.
While Brenda worked on her Terry Atkinson project. I was determined to go home with a finished quilt top.
Each block is hand pieced and ‘double-stitched’ per the Mountain Patchwork instructions. Then embroidered in the block’s center sashing strips.
The block is pieced like regular hand-piecing along the seams, then stitched again to secure the seam allowance with a visible running stitch. The technique was originally used to reinforce well-worn bits of clothing as they were sewn into quilts. The result has a more textured look with visible double-stitched running stitches.
Over the years, my embroidery improved and got a bit more detailed. You can tell the earlier blocks from those completed more recently.
The quilt top is done, it’s quite large - keepin’ it real here - yes that’s some garlic from last summer hanging on the closet door. I really need to use that up before next growing season starts, right?
I can’t wait to really finish it with, I think, some big-stitch quilting. That part I’ll do at home in the evenings with a good movie or audible book.
That means, it’s time for a new travel project. I chose this hand-pieced project that I started a couple years ago. Yep, like before, I’ve done some advance cutting and marking for the hand piecing. This isn’t part of any published pattern, so I’m not sure where exactly I’m headed yet, but I’m sure it’ll be a nice journey - literally and figuratively.
I’ve already started packing my travel case (Isn’t this one fun? It’s from Yazzii and it has lots of little compartments) with all the essentials so I’m ready to hit the road again, but maybe not for a couple more weeks.
Do you have a ready-to-go travel project?